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Northern Skirmishes Imperil Truce

<i> Associated Press</i>

Mortar and artillery fire rocked a northwest Bosnian border region Tuesday in new combat that threatened the latest hope for peace.

The worst of the fighting was around Velika Kladusa, 25 miles north of the U.N. “safe area” of Bihac. Velika Kladusa is the stronghold of Fikret Abdic, a renegade Muslim leader who joined forces with Serbs from Bosnia and Croatia in a two-month assault on the government-held Bihac enclave.

Neither Abdic nor the Croatian Serbs have joined the four-month cease-fire agreement.

Before Tuesday’s fighting, the truce had largely held. But unimpeded U.N. operations, also called for in the agreement, remained largely theoretical. Bosnian Serbs continued to prevent 35 ill and wounded people from leaving the eastern Muslim enclave of Gorazde. Two have died, U.N. relief officials said.

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